LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Despite the presence of a past champion, Louisville continued its string of impressive victories.
Larry O'Bannon scored 10 of his 25 points in the first half as No. 14 Louisville cruised to an 85-51 victory over North Carolina A&T.
The win came against coach Jerry Eaves, a former player and assistant under Denny Crum between 1996-99. A Louisville native, Eaves was a starter on the Cardinals' 1980 NCAA championship squad and helped the team to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
"The fans were great tonight," Eaves said. "I knew they would be good to me and my team, and it was great to be back."
O'Bannon proved to be the early spark for Louisville (6-1), scoring nine points during a 19-6 run. He broke a 4-4 tie with a jumper, added a three-point play and made consecutive layups for a 23-10 lead with 10:42 left.
O'Bannon finished 10-of-14 from the field with three 3-pointers. He also had 11 rebounds.
Francisco Garcia scored nine of his 12 points in the first half and Ellis Myles totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals, who dominated the Aggies on the boards, 58-40.
"We do a lot of things on offense, but you can't win consistently unless you rebound the basketball," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said.
Taquan Dean, the team's leading scorer, managed just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. Entering the contest with a combined average of 34 points, the duo of Dean and Garcia struggled from the field, making just 6-of-18 shots. The two did combine on eight assists and five steals.
"We didn't have our A game, but we've got some good habits as a basketball team," Pitino said. "We share the basketball, we make extra passes, and we look for each other."
Struggling to protect the ball, North Carolina A&T (1-8) committed 15 first-half turnovers and fell behind, 40-28. The Aggies also slumped from the field, shooting 28 percent (20-of-71) overall, including 3-of-18 from the arc.
Sean Booker scored 19 points and Steven Koger added 13 for North Carolina A&T, which absorbed its fourth straight defeat.
"It was good to play against top-flight athletes," Eaves said. "(Louisville is) very smart, heady and athletic, so it was good for us to come in and see a team like that."